How to Hide and Show Hidden Files/Folders on Mac

The macOS offers a method for hiding files and folders, just like other operating systems. However, Apple wants to keep these files and folders hidden away from prying eyes by default, so you can’t make it as easy as it is on Windows.

This guide will help you if you just want to show/hide files or folders on macOS by using the Terminal app. This guide will work for almost all versions of macOS, including Catalina, Mojave, High Sierra, Sierra, EI Capitan, and Mavericks, macOS Mojave, macOS Catalina, macOS Big Sur and higher.

Read more:

Show/Hide Hidden Files on Mac – Quick Table

TerminalNote
Show Hidden Files and Foldersdefaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles YES

killall Finder
Press Return after each line
Hide a File or Folderdefaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles NO

killall Finder
Press Return after each line
Hide Hidden Files and Folderschflags hidden […][…] = The path of the file or folder
Unhide a File or Folderchflags nohidden […][…] = The path of the file or folder

Show/Hide Hidden Files Mac (macOS Ventura)

macOS Ventura is the latest operating system and it will release by Apple in the end of this year. It has many new features, including the ability to hide and show hidden files and folders. Just like an older version of macOS, you can use the Terminal to do this.

To show hidden files again, use the following command:

defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles YES
killall Finder

To hide a file or folder, open the Terminal and type the following command:

defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles NO
killall Finder

This will hide all files that have the “.” character in front of them.

How to Show Hidden Files/Folders

How to show hidden files on Mac? The easiest way to show hidden files or folders in macOS is by using the Terminal. Follow these steps below:

Step 1: Open the Terminal

To open Terminal, just go to the Finder and then click Go >> Utilities.

show hidden files on Mac

A new window appears, you can see the Terminal app, just double-click on it.

show hidden files on Mac

You can also go to LaunchPad >> Find the Others >> Click on Terminal.

how to hide show files mac 3

Step 2: Use the command lines

Now, you can copy and paste the two lines listed here into Terminal, and hit Return after each line:

defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE

killall Finder

or

defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles YES

killall Finder
show hidden files on Mac

If the last line doesn’t work, you need to relaunch the Finder. To do this, press and hold Option + Control and click on the Finder icon in the Dock. Then, click on Relaunch.

show hidden files on Mac

Now go to the Finder by clicking on its icon in the Dock. You are going to view the hidden files. It’s like the image below:

how to hide show files mac 7

Step 3: Exit the Terminal program

Select the Quit Terminal option from the Menu or press Command + Q.

How to Hide Hidden Files/Folders

Step 1: Open the Terminal

Step 2: If you want to hide hidden files and folders, you can simply use the following command:

defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles NO
killall Finder

or

defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles FALSE
killall Finder
show hidden files on Mac

The result.

how to hide show files mac 9

How to Manage an Individual Hidden File/Folder

Hiding a File or Folder

The simplest method to multiple hidden files that change a unique attribute on the file known as a Finder flag is to use the “chflags” command line in the Terminal.

Just open the Terminal and type the following command line:

chflags hidden

Make sure to type a space after “hidden”.

hidden files folders 1

Then drag the wanted file or folder to the Terminal window. Hit Return to run the command.

show hidden files on Mac

This is going to set the file as hidden.

Opening a Hidden File or Folder

To access the hidden file from the Finder, you can click on the Go menu in the Finder and select Go to Folder.

Put the path of the file into the dialog box and click Go or press Enter. The ~ means your user directory, so if you’ve had already a directory named like HiddenFolder on your Documents, you just enter:

~/Desktop/HiddenFolder

Open the folder which was hidden recently from your Desktop.

hidden files folders 1

Open the folder which was hidden recently from your Disk.

show hidden files on Mac

More: If you aren’t sure the path of the folder or file, you can open the Terminal and drag the folder into it. Then, you can see the path immediately.

Unhiding a File or Folder

To unhide a file or folder, just copy and paste the following command into the Terminal, including a space at the end.

chflags nohidden

If you keep in mind the correct path of the folder or file, you can type it inside the Terminal. If you are not sure, just use the above tip to show hidden files and folders in the Finder and then drag the hidden file or folder into the Terminal.

hidden files folders 1

Hit Enter later and the file or folder will come to be unhidden, so you are able to open it as normal.

More: You can press the Up or Down arrow button from your keyboard to see the command line which you’ve used.

How To Hide/Show Hidden Files Using Funter

There are some apps that allow you to use a hotkey for hiding or showing hidden files and folders on Mac, but we highly recommend the Funter which is a free application to operate hidden files and folders.

This app integrates with your Finder, and adds its own command to the context menu, so you can easily change file hidden attribute just from Finder with two steps.

Conclusion

In this article, we’ve shown you how to hide and show hidden files and folders on your Mac computer. We’ve also explained the different ways you can unhide these files, depending on your needs. If you have any questions or need help with this process, please let us know in the comments section below.

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